The Timberland Company (NYSE: TBL) is a trademark for a number of lines of outdoors wear, primarily boots, designed for hiking and mountain climbing. They are also popular as a primary element of fashion, originating from their popularity with African-American youths.
In 1918, Timberland founder Nathan Swartz began his shoemaking career in Boston, Massachusetts as an apprentice boot-maker. Swartz was an observant American Jew. In 1952 Swartz bought half an interest in The Abington Shoe Company in Boston, mainly doing contract work for other manufacturers. By 1955, he saved up and bought the remaining interest and brought his sons into the company.
In the 1960s, the Swartz family introduced the then innovative injection-molding technology into the footwear industry. This enabled the production of virtually waterproof boots by connecting the soles to the leather uppers without stitching.
The company has since expanded, making many other types of shoes, casual wear, leather goods and outdoor apparel. Although Timberland is a publicly traded company, the Swartz family still holds approximately 47% of the stock and 81% of the voting power according to company statements. This makes it still very much a family operated company.
Source: Wikipedia, Timberland Company Site